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Keeping up to date

We take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date so that you can use changes in employment law to commercial advantage. By understanding and interpreting the latest case law and legislation we can deliver updates to you that are concise and usable. With imagination, we are able to ensure that developing law can be used to allow you to achieve commercial solutions, cost effectively and expediently.

Managing divisions

Posted on: June 3rd, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

It would be an understatement to say that racial tensions are running high in America. With such emotive issues, emotions may well bubble over, particularly when teams are stretched and tired.

It doesn’t matter that something was a joke, was taken out of context or was said with the best of intentions – if an employee takes offence, a harassment claim can be expensive to deal with on many levels.

Beyond that, strength of opinion can divide as well as cement employee relationships and can create friction that is difficult to manage well. It’s a good time to remind managers of:

  1. The training they’ve recently received around dignity and respect at work
  2. Where to find your equal opportunities policy, and to have a read
  3. How to spot bubbling issues and deal with them quickly and sensitively
  4. When to discuss issues with your HR/People team
  5. The fact they may express an understanding of the importance of the issues, but not to encourage disagreements or divisive opinion
  6. The fact they should think carefully before involving themselves in emotive discussions

If you don’t already have them in place, or are looking to review and update your equal opportunities and dignity and respect at work policies, our Intelligent Employment platform will be able to help. Find out more.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (03 June 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

10 June – an important furlough date

Posted on: June 2nd, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

If you are still thinking about furloughing employees for the first time, you need to decide quickly. From 1 July, only those employees who have been furloughed previously will be entitled to further furlough.

The government have made clear here that the final date you can furlough an employee for the first time is 10 June (so that they have completed the 21 consecutive days’ furlough required by the scheme by 30 June).

We suspect that any period of furlough prior to 30 June (provided it has been for at least 21 consecutive days) will mean that further furlough post 1 July for that employee is possible, but until we have definitive guidance (released by the government on 12 June) we cannot be sure.

Don’t forget that with the new flexibility provided by the government in respect of furlough from 1 July, your safe return to work policy, furlough and unfurlough letters will need amending.

Click here for more information about our up to date furlough documents and templates. 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (02 June 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Now live: test and trace service

Posted on: June 1st, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

The test and trace system is now live. It means anyone with coronavirus symptoms can be tested, the service informs contacts of any need to self-isolate, and requires individuals who test positive to share that fact with close recent contacts.

Here’s what you need to know: 

  1. If an employee is notified that they have had contact with an infected person, they will be told to remain at home for 14 days from the most recent contact. They will be eligible for SSP during that period unless they can work from home or take holiday.
  2. An employee told by the test and trace service to remain at home will receive a notification which they can show you as evidence of the fact they need to self-isolate (and which can be used by you to claim under the SSP rebate scheme). You should not encourage them back into work until the 14 days has expired.
  3. Employees with coronavirus symptoms should be encouraged to alert colleagues they’ve been in contact with within the previous 48 hours. Those colleagues must avoid individuals at high risk of contracting coronavirus, take extra care to socially distance, watch out for symptoms and maintain good hygiene.
  4. The test and trace service will ask your employee to share a positive test result with close recent contacts. The service will liaise with particular visited sites including care homes and notify contacts who need to self-isolate.
  5. The app is still in testing stage but when available you’ll be able to ask your employees to download it to minimise the risk of them contracting and spreading coronavirus, particularly where they have travelled on public transport.

All of the above should be included within your ‘safe return to work policy’. If you don’t already have one in place, click here to purchase ours.

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (01 June 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Executive People Update

Posted on: May 28th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

As part of keeping you in our focus during the coronavirus pandemic, our executive people update ensures you’re on top of the latest changes in legislation, case and employment law trends. Click here for more information about how we can support you to manage the latest changes.

Contact tracing 

The NHS track and trace system has launched today (without the anticipated mobile app). Contact tracers will be making contact via email, text and phone calls  if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. You will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and “do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis“. Guidance for employers has been issued.

If you or your employees are contacted by the scheme, you’ll be directed to this website. The tracer will provide you the details necessary to sign into the website. You should explain to employees the importance of remaining vigilant against hoax or scam calls as contact tracers will not ask for personal details over the phone unless you’re unable to access the internet.

SSP claims portal and regulation amendments 

If you have less than 250 employees, you’re now able to claim back SSP from the government if it has been paid due to coronavirus. You can access the claims portal and further details here.

Amendments have been made to the SSP Regulations to mean that employees told to self-isolate at home for 14 days by the track and trace scheme are eligible for SSP.

Updated shielding guidance 

The government is now advising people to shield until 30 June 2020. This is important if you’re planning to unfurlough employees coming to the end of the period of 12 weeks explained in their initial shielding letter. You can find the specific paragraph here, or the full guidance here.

Record keeping during the pandemic

You must now keep a record for six years (previously five) of any correspondence to your employees putting them on, or taking them off furlough and any claims that you’ve made. We’d recommend keeping a record of all decisions made during the pandemic for the same period of time to provide a robust audit and evidence trail (should you need to rely on it).

New symptoms  

A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste are now classed as main symptoms of coronavirus. This is along with a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.

If you need support with the challenges, employment law risks and considerations of returning employees back to work, we’ve created a comprehensive guidance note to help. Click here to find out more.

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (28 May 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Considering redundancies? – join our webinar

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

When: 3rd June – 9:30am > Click here to register.

Challenging times can result in difficult decisions. When forced to consider redundancies, the impact across all levels of an organisation can be far reaching.

Providing the right support – to ensure that correct processes are followed, that HR teams are properly supported and that affected individuals are given the best possible chance to secure the right next step for them – can have a positive and lasting effect.

This unique webinar explores redundancy from three perspectives:

  1. Employment law
  2. HR process and communications
  3. The people impact

We’ll provide practical tips, guidance and solutions to help you navigate through the current complexity, help you understand where the risks are hiding and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your organisation and the people within it. Here’s a detailed agenda of what we’ll cover.

Click here to register.